Sometimes as we walk through life we find ourselves on unexpected paths. Sometimes these paths are treacherous and laden with obstacles. Other times our journey is filled with delightful views and unimaginable joys. There are also those moments where we lose our way and find that we have fallen into a miry pit, whose slippery walls seem impossible to escape.
If we’re honest, our lives are often a mixture of trails such as these. Each day can bring a new journey that exhausts our bodies, our minds, and our emotions. Like a backpacker hiking through varying degrees of topography, the very journey of our lives takes us on quests, that despite the happiness we find, can also leave us tired, worn, lost, and even broken.
For me personally, this past year was marked with pathways such as the ones above. Trying to navigate life as a new family of 6 was hard — and occasionally life draining. Were there joys?! Absolutely! My heart was filled with a greater love for my family and I was grateful for all the many ways I was experiencing God’s love through them. He truly gifted us with His grace and I found in Him the strength to live life as a mom to 4 boys. But as I voyaged through this past year, I came to the end physically, spiritually, and emotionally exhausted.
Visible Marks: Beauty & Pain
Now, please don’t misunderstand. There is great beauty in a life that bears the visible marks of being “lived”. Often we can be bruised, tired, and worn because we live as an offering to others. And rightly so, for we are called to lay down our lives, to die to ourselves that others might see Christ.
But then there are those seasons when we just get beat up from life. We lose our way and the marks we bear come from the effects of living in a sinful world. We struggle because we rely on our own strength, we neglect the wisdom from God and His word, we fall into temptation, or we wander from the straight path. Or perhaps a tragic event occurs that completely wrecks us. The trail we pilgrim was never promised to be laden with soft moss and rose petals. It also bears thorns, rocks, and steep edges.
An Honest Reflection
As I took time to reflect on the various paths I trekked over the past year, I couldn’t escape the idea of being brought back. Of having a complete overall that left me renewed and rejuvenated. Like that weary backpacker, I needed to get back to my home base. A place where I could be replenished, well rested, and restored. But not only from a physical standpoint. I wanted a deep revival of my soul. A transformation that began with the innermost corners of my heart and radiated to every facet of my being. From this honest reflection, I chose the theme of RESTORE as my personal resolution for 2017.
God: The Master of Restoration
You see, despite the rough terrain we are required to walk, we have a God who is in the business of restoration. He can heal our bruises, mend our brokenness, and lift our weary faces. And this isn’t just a mere outward transformation. He doesn’t just stick on a band aid and kiss our boo boos. His work of restoring takes place within our hearts. It is a soul-altering transformation that gives new life. The Psalmist gives us hope of God’s ability to bring restoration. Read the words below:
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His namesake. Psalm 23:3
My heart’s cry is that I would experience God’s amazing power of restoration. A renewal so grand that it leaves me looking more like Jesus. And not just for my personal benefit. We don’t breath in His life giving power for our own well being alone. No. I pray my soul will be filled so I can be poured out as an offering to others. I pray that the Lord acts in such a way that I love Jesus more and share His love with others.
Is Restoration Needed in Your Life?
Perhaps there is an area in your life that needs to be restored? A relationship, the joy of your salvation, resting in God’s peace, or like me, a restoring of your soul. If so, take heart! God delights in restoring every area of our lives. He wishes for you to rest in His love and grace. We were never meant to wander through the various pathways of life alone. His rod and His staff bring comfort as He leads us to still waters and green pastures.
God Alone Holds The Power To Restore
Charles Spurgeon’s commentary on Psalm 23:3 stated this: “When the soul grows sorrowful he revives it; when it is sinful he sanctifies it; when it is weak he strengthens it. ‘He’ does it.” No amount of force or will on our own can bring life changing restoration. And what’s more, as He restores our souls He is also leading us on paths of righteousness for His glory. He illuminates the path by guiding us to walk in the truth of His word. And His name is made great when we praise the works of His hands and share our stories of restoration with others.
Though the elevations of our journey may change, from valleys to mountain peaks, the good Shepherd is with us. In His sovereignty He is the One blazing the trail, helping us to navigate, building ladders out of the pits, walking with us through the thorny bushes, and guiding us to the right path.
Let’s ask God to do a mighty work in our lives that breaths life into our souls so that we can tell others of His life changing power– all for the glory of His name.